The best way I know of keeping your pet happy and healthy is by spending a little time each day focused completely on them. With dogs especially it is important to connect by touch. Each day sit down with your dog and run your hands over every part of their bodies. Familiarize yourself with the odd spots, such as: their arm pits, their mouths, between their toes, under their tail, where ever you can reach!
Knowing your pet on this level is important! Keep yourself knowledgeable and in tune with their bodies, they'll thank you for it!
In my experience dogs are better behaved and healthier when their owners take the time to really know them. This method is also a good way to keep an eye on your pooch's health! Fleas, ticks, tumors; all these bad things happen regularly to animals and should be carefully monitored. Good luck!